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Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

10 Lost or Forgotten Sports Trophies

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Though it is the fourth most popular sport in the country, hockey has its most storied trophy: The Stanley Cup. And part of that story is the legacy of mistreatment and misplacement the old silver bowl had been subjected to over the years. Despite all this, it’s still around and it’s still revered … which puts it well ahead of these other major league trophies.

1. The O’Brien Trophy (hockey)

Lord Stanley’s Cup didn’t always go automatically to the NHL’s champion. Instead, winners of the league’s play-offs were awarded the O’Brien Trophy (above), which had migrated over from a defunct rival league. The O’Brien was gradually demoted to the point that it was awarded to the runner-up of the championship series. Perhaps deciding that champagne tastes less sweet coming out of a 2nd-place trophy, the O’Brien was retired. The last team to “win” the O’Brien: The 1950 New York Rangers.

2. The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Cup (football)

Awarded just once in 1920 by the league that would become the NFL, its whereabouts have been a mystery for decades. No photos exist of the “silver-loving cup,” and the team that won it—the Akron Pros—ceased to exist by 1927. The league’s bylaws stated that any team winning the championship three years in a row was to possess the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Cup permanently, so if you happen across it, it technically belongs to the Green Bay Packers.

As for the trophy’s parent company, they later made a much more prominent name for themselves in a different sport…as Brunswick, the bowling supply company.

3. The Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy (football)

The NFL finally got its act together and began awarding a new, traveling trophy—the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy—in 1934. Perhaps the only trophy to be named after a referee, it continued to be awarded to the NFL’s champion right up until the league’s merger with the AFL in 1970. This makes the Minnesota Vikings—the 1969 NFL Champions (even though they lost the Super Bowl that year)—the last team to win the Ed. The Vikings would go on to lose more than three additional Super Bowls. They misplaced the Ed Thorp Trophy, as well.

4. The Orbiter Trophy (basketball)

For a league known for multi-color basketballs, dopey team names and enormous afros, the ABA Championship Trophy—a plain silver bowl—was a surprisingly uninspired creation. Not so for the Orbiter Trophy, an odd promotional award from the good folks at Frontier Airlines, given to the winner of the yearly season series between the ABA’s Denver Nuggets and Utah Stars. Festooned with everything from an official ABA ball to a model airplane, the Nuggets won the garish masterpiece of a trophy nine of 11 years. In the league’s last season of play in 1975-76, the Utah Stars folded mid-season, and the Orbiter Trophy disappeared right along with them.

5 and 6. The Chesterfield Trophy and The Gold Cup (roller derby)

In the height of its popularity in the late ‘40s-early ‘50s, Chesterfield cigarettes gave its name to the championship trophy for the International Roller Derby League. While the league endured until 1973, the Chesterfield was phased out when the IRDL lost its national TV contract. This was eventually replaced by the Gold Cup, last won when the New York Chiefs won the trophy in a sold out Madison Square Garden (the same year Raquel Welch played one match for the Kansas City Bombers as a publicity stunt). The league then vanished, and according the Roller Derby Hall of Fame, not even the league’s long-time president has any idea where either trophy is.

7. The Avco World Trophy (hockey)

Avco lent its name—and a $500,000 prize—to the winner of the WHA, a rival league to the NHL in the ‘70s. Avco was an aviation defense contractor, so it’s fitting that the Winnipeg Jets played for the Cup five out of seven years, winning three of them. One version of the trophy remains in Winnipeg … even though that version of the Jets that won the Avco now plays in Arizona.

Like many of these other trophies, the Avco had a notable disappearing act of its own. However, it was during the first season of the WHA that the award failed to materialize, as the Cup wasn’t finished in time to be awarded. Thus, the victorious—and somewhat embarrassed—New England Whalers were forced to skate the ice with their Conference Championship Trophy instead.

8. The XFL Trophy (football)

The league, co-owned by WWE’s Vince McMahon and NBC, proved to be a ratings-challenged laughing stock during its short time in, er, Xistence. Less than one month after the Los Angeles Xtreme won the league’s inaugural championship game—the “Million Dollar Game”—in 2001, the league folded. The trophy (which lacked an equally distinctive moniker) is now a conversation piece in the California home of J.K. McKay, the Xtreme’s GM.

9. The World Bowl Trophy (football)

Not faring all that much better was the WFL of the mid-70s, a rival football league that managed to at least start (if not finish) a second season. The league’s Birmingham Americans won the inaugural—and only—World Bowl Trophy in 1974, after which all of the team’s assets were confiscated by creditors. Among these was assumed to be the World Bowl Trophy, until it was discovered thirty years later, languishing forgotten in a supply room in Birmingham’s Legion Field. It now resides in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham.

10. The Jules Rimet Trophy (soccer)

This silver trophy—first awarded to the winner of FIFA’s World Cup in 1930—was stolen not once but twice in its tumultuous history. First, it went missing while touring England during the 1966 World Cup, only to be unearthed a week later by a plucky Collie named Pickles. However, Pickles was long gone by 1983 when the trophy was later lifted from a display case in Brazil and melted down to be sold as metal bars. Fortunately, a replica was created after the first incident, and it lives today at England’s National Football Museum.

Honorable Mention: The Platypus Trophy (college football)

Starting in 1959, the Platypus has gone to the winner of the yearly match-up between the Oregon (Ducks) and Oregon State (Beavers) football teams. However, for roughly 40 years, this wasn’t the case as The Platypus was repeatedly stolen by both schools, only to go missing and eventually forgotten. It was finally rediscovered in 2005 in a closet at Oregon’s basketball arena, and the wooden trophy resumed being awarded in 2007.

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11 Single Facts About Bridget Jones’s Diary
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Miramax

While it's not officially a holiday movie, so much of the action in Bridget Jones's Diary happens around the most wonderful time of the year that the rom-com has become essential wintertime viewing for many movie fans. Based on Helen Fielding’s novel of the same name, it tells the story of a very single, and hopelessly romantic, working professional named Bridget (Renée Zellweger) who is determined to improve her love life. Enter two strapping gentlemen (Colin Firth and Hugh Grant) to vie for her heart. Get to know more about the timeless dramedy that’s been delighting audiences since 2001. Just as it is.

1. THE SOURCE NOVEL CAME ABOUT FROM AN ANONYMOUS COLUMN ABOUT SINGLE LIFE.

In the foreword of Bridget Jones’s Diary, author Helen Fielding wrote about how she came to conjure up the story: “The Independent asked me to write a column, as myself, about single life in London. Much as I needed the money, the idea of writing about myself in that way seemed hopelessly embarrassing and revealing. I offered to write an anonymous column instead, using an exaggerated, comic, fictional character. I assumed no one would read it, and it would be dropped after six weeks for being too silly.”

2. SEVERAL CHARACTERS ARE BASED ON PEOPLE IN HELEN FIELDING’S LIFE.


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These include Jude (Tracey MacLeod) and Shazzer (Sharon Maguire, also the film’s director). In a column for the Evening Standard, MacLeod described how she didn’t even realize she inspired part of her best friend’s story until Fielding’s book launch party. “At the launch party for the first Bridget book, I was cornered by a smug married friend, ‘So ... what's it like being Jude?’ she asked,” MacLeod writes. “I was outraged. Of course I wasn't Jude, with her self-help books and horrible boyfriend. My boyfriend wasn't anything like Vile Richard ... But as more people began to believe that Jude and Shazzer were thinly-veiled portraits of myself and Sharon, I secretly got to like the idea.”

3. TONI COLLETTE DECLINED THE LEAD, AND KATE WINSLET WAS CONSIDERED FOR IT.

Before Zellweger stole the show, Aussie Toni Collette and Brit Kate Winslet were up for the part. According to AMC, “Toni Collette declined the role because she was on Broadway starring in The Wild Party at the time, and Kate Winslet was considered but the producers decided she was too young.”

4. HUGH GRANT ONLY SIGNED ON WHEN RICHARD CURTIS WAS ANNOUNCED AS THE WRITER. 


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“The only reason [I was a hard sell] was because I didn't feel they had the script quite right for a long time,” Firth told Cinema.com. “And I kept saying, ‘It's not working. Just get Richard Curtis to come in and help rewrite it.’ Eventually they did, and as soon as Richard came on board, I signed on the dotted line. So that's all it was.”

5. RENÉE ZELLWEGER GAINED 17 POUNDS FOR THE PART.

Zellweger’s weight gain for the role had the media abuzz for a while. According to The Guardian, “In order to play the eponymous heroine in the film adaptation of Fielding's bestseller, the actress gained 17 pounds, consulting a dietitian and endocrinologist who devised a regime of three full meals a day, multiple snacks, and no exercise.”

6. ZELLWEGER WORKED AT PICADOR FOR THREE WEEKS.

Zellweger went full Method for her iconic role, and became a temporary employee of the Picador publishing house. “We came up with a plan: she would be Bridget Cavendish, Bridget for obvious reasons and Cavendish as she was to be passed off as the sister of Jonathan Cavendish, a friend of one of our company chairmen,” Picador publicist Camilla Elworthy told The Guardian. “That last bit at least is true, and no one was to know that Jonathan Cavendish was one of the film's producers.”

7. ZELLWEGER KEPT A PHOTO OF JIM CARREY ON HER DESK.


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While working at Picador, Zellweger kept a picture of Jim Carrey on her desk—which made her alter ego Bridget Cavendish seem like some sort of obsessed fan. “Under the name Bridget Cavendish, she answered phones, served coffee, and made photocopies—without being recognized by any of her co-workers, who offered career advice and wondered privately why she kept a photo of Jim Carrey (her then-boyfriend) on her desk,” noted Hollywood.com.

8. ZELLWEGER INVITED HER BOSS AT PICADOR TO BE AN EXTRA ON SET.

In Camilla Elworthy’s write-up for The Guardian, she noted how she became a part of the production. “Renée sent me a thank you letter and gift after she'd gone and I have seen her a few times since then," Elworthy wrote. "She invited me on to the film set one day. She informed me that I had to stick around and be an extra and made sure that I was put somewhere that I would be seen ... As a result, half my head can be seen for half a nano-second in the launch party scene.”

9. THE EPIC FIGHT SCENE BETWEEN GRANT AND COLIN FIRTH WASN’T CHOREOGRAPHED.

You can thank the two actors for the hilarity of the iconic scene. In a Vulture article about the greatest fight scenes in movie history, writer Denise Martin recalled the improvised spar, writing, “No stunt coordinators. No elaborate choreography. Just a perfectly realized wimp brawl between two upper-middle-class Englishmen coming to awkward fisticuffs in front of a Greek restaurant.”

10. FIELDING ASKED FRIEND SALMAN RUSHDIE TO CAMEO IN THE FILM.

Recalling how he came to be part of the film, famed novelist Salman Rushdie told Texas Monthly, “Helen Fielding, the author of the book, is an old pal of mine, and she asked if I’d come along and make a fool of myself, and I said, ‘Why not?’”

11. GRANT DIDN’T HEAR ZELLWEGER SPEAK IN HER AMERICAN ACCENT UNTIL THE FILM’S WRAP PARTY.

Zellweger was so engrossed with Bridget Jones that one of her leading love interests didn’t meet the real actress until the end of the shoot. “Not once did she stop speaking with that accent, until the wrap party,” Grant told Cinema.com, “when suddenly this weird ... Texan appeared. I wanted to call security, I didn't know who the f*ck she was!”

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15 Surprising Facts About Scarface
Universal Home Video
Universal Home Video

Say hello to our little list. Here are a few facts to break out at your next screening of Scarface, Brian De Palma’s gangsters-and-cocaine classic, which arrived in theaters on this day in 1983.

1. IT WASN'T THE FIRST SCARFACE.

Brian De Palma's Scarface is a loose remake of the 1932 movie of the same name, which is also about the rise and fall of an American immigrant gangster. The producer of the 1983 version, Martin Bregman, saw the original on late night TV and thought the idea could be modernized—though it still pays respect to the original film. De Palma's flick is dedicated to the original film’s director, Howard Hawks, and screenwriter, Ben Hecht.

2. IT COULD HAVE BEEN A SIDNEY LUMET FILM.

At one point in the film's production, Sidney Lumet—the socially conscious director of such classics as Dog Day Afternoon and 12 Angry Men—was brought on as its director. "Sidney Lumet came up with the idea of what's happening today in Miami, and it inspired Bregman," Pacino told Empire Magazine. "He and Oliver Stone got together and produced a script that had a lot of energy and was very well written. Oliver Stone was writing about stuff that was touching on things that were going on in the world, he was in touch with that energy and that rage and that underbelly."

3. OLIVER STONE WASN'T INTERESTED IN WRITING THE SCRIPT, UNTIL LUMET GOT INVOLVED.


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Producer Bregman offered relative newcomer Oliver Stone a chance to overhaul the screenplay, but Stone—who was still reeling from the box office disappointment of his film, The Hand—wasn't interested. "I didn’t like the original movie that much," Stone told Creative Screenwriting. "It didn’t really hit me at all and I had no desire to make another Italian gangster picture because so many had been done so well, there would be no point to it. The origin of it, according to Marty Bregman, [was that] Al had seen the '30s version on television, he loved it and expressed to Marty as his long time mentor/partner that he’d like to do a role like that. So Marty presented it to me and I had no interest in doing a period piece."

But when Bregman contacted Stone again about the project later, his opinion changed. "Sidney Lumet had stepped into the deal," Stone said. "Sidney had a great idea to take the 1930s American prohibition gangster movie and make it into a modern immigrant gangster movie dealing with the same problems that we had then, that we’re prohibiting drugs instead of alcohol. There’s a prohibition against drugs that’s created the same criminal class as (prohibition of alcohol) created the Mafia. It was a remarkable idea."

4. UNFORTUNATELY, ACCORDING TO STONE, LUMET HATED HIS SCRIPT.

While the chance to work with Lumet was part of what lured Stone to the project, it was his script that ultimately led to the director's departure from the film. According to Stone: "Sidney Lumet hated my script. I don’t know if he’d say that in public himself, I sound like a petulant screenwriter saying that, I’d rather not say that word. Let me say that Sidney did not understand my script, whereas Bregman wanted to continue in that direction with Al."

5. STONE HAD FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER.

In order to create the most accurate picture possible, Stone spent time in Florida and the Caribbean interviewing people on both sides of the law for research. "It got hairy," Stone admitted of the research process. "It gave me all this color. I wanted to do a sun-drenched, tropical Third World gangster, cigar, sexy Miami movie."

Unfortunately, while penning the screenplay, Stone was also dealing with his own cocaine habit, which gave him an insight into what the drug can do to users. Stone actually tried to kick his habit by leaving the country to complete the script so he could be far away from his access to the drug.

"I moved to Paris and got out of the cocaine world too because that was another problem for me," he said. "I was doing coke at the time, and I really regretted it. I got into a habit of it and I was an addictive personality. I did it, not to an extreme or to a place where I was as destructive as some people, but certainly to where I was going stale mentally. I moved out of L.A. with my wife at the time and moved back to France to try and get into another world and see the world differently. And I wrote the script totally f***ing cold sober."

6. BRIAN DE PALMA DIDN'T WANT TO AUDITION MICHELLE PFEIFFER.


Universal Home Video

De Palma was hesitant to audition the relatively untested Pfeiffer because at the time she was best known for the box office bomb Grease 2. Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher, Kelly McGillis, Sharon Stone and Sigourney Weaver were all considered for the role of Elvira, but Bregman pushed for Pfeiffer to audition and she got the part.

7. YES, THERE IS A LOT OF SWEARING.

According to the Family Media Guide, which monitors profanity, sexual content, and violence in movies, Scarface features 207 uses of the “F” word, which works out to about 1.21 F-bombs per minute. In 2014, Martin Scorsese more than doubled that with a record-setting 506 F-bombs thrown in The Wolf of Wall Street.

8. TONY MONTANA WAS NAMED FOR A FOOTBALL STAR.

Stone, who was a San Francisco 49ers fan, named the character of Tony Montana after Joe Montana, his favorite football player.

9. TONY IS ONLY REFERRED TO AS "SCARFACE" ONCE, AND IT'S IN SPANISH.

Hector, the Colombian gangster who threatens Tony with the chainsaw, refers to Tony as “cara cicatriz,” meaning “scar face” in Spanish.

That chainsaw scene, by the way, was based on a real incident. To research the movie, Stone embedded himself with Miami law enforcement and based the infamous chainsaw sequence on a gangland story he heard from the Miami-Dade County police.

10. VERY LITTLE OF THE FILM WAS ACTUALLY SHOT IN MIAMI.

The film was originally going to be shot entirely on location in Miami, but protests by the local Cuban-American community forced the movie to leave Miami two weeks into production. Besides footage from those two weeks, the rest of the movie was shot in Los Angeles, New York, and Santa Barbara.

11. ALL THAT "COCAINE" LED TO PROBLEMS WITH PACINO'S NASAL PASSAGES.

Though there has long been a myth that Pacino snorted real cocaine on camera for Scarface, the "cocaine" used in the movie was supposedly powdered milk (even if De Palma has never officially stated what the crew used as a drug stand-in). But just because it wasn't real doesn't mean that it didn't create problems for Pacino's nasal passages. "For years after, I have had things up in there," Pacino said in 2015. "I don't know what happened to my nose, but it's changed."

12. PACINO'S NOSE WASN'T HIS ONLY BODY PART TO SUFFER DAMAGE.

Still of Al Pacino as Tony Montana in 'Scarface' (1983)
Universal Home Video

In the film's very bloody conclusion, Montana famously asks the assailants who've invaded his home to "say hello to my little friend," which happens to be a very large gun. That gun took a beating from all the blanks it had to fire, so much so that Pacino ended up burning his hand on its barrel. "My hand stuck to that sucker," he said. Ultimately, the actor—and his bandaged hands—had to sit out some of the action in the last few weeks of production.

13. STEVEN SPIELBERG DIRECTED A SINGLE SHOT.

De Palma and Spielberg had been friends since the two began making studio movies in the mid-1970s, and they made a habit of visiting each other’s sets. Spielberg was on hand for one of the days of shooting the Colombians’ initial attack on Tony Montana’s house at the end of the movie, so De Palma let Spielberg direct the low-angle shot where the attackers first enter the house.

14. SOME COOL TECHNOLOGY WENT INTO THE GUN MUZZLE FLASHES.

In order to heighten the severity of the gunfire, De Palma and the special effects coordinators created a mechanism to synchronize the gunfire with the open shutter on the movie camera to show the huge muzzle flash coming from the guns in the final shootout.

15. SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A FAN OF THE FILM.

The trust fund the former Iraqi dictator set up to launder money was called “Montana Management,” a nod to the company Tony uses to launder money in the movie.

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